The world is moving ever faster, and technology is powering it all. In a time of rapid change, the right technology can put you on a path to profitability, and the wrong tech can become a money pit that creates problems for years to come. The smooth running of your senior living community depends on reliable internet, integrated software, and access to the data you need.
Technology is often an afterthought for senior living providers. After all, you are caring for human beings. However, the trend is toward a high-tech, high-touch process for delivering care, and a stable infrastructure is needed to support it. Residents are becoming increasingly tech-savvy as well and expect an infrastructure that can support their internet and cable installations.
Chances are you have a patchwork system maintained by either a single IT tech or someone who just happens to have been around long enough to know how to tweak things to make them work at a marginal level. As an IT generalist, they likely don’t have the deep expertise needed. This is why smart executives in the senior living industry are turning to IT consultants who have the expertise to provide the necessary infrastructure to improve workflow and productivity, meet client expectations, and prepare you for the future.
But you’re not an IT expert, and you might not even know where to start, so how do you know what to look for in an IT management company? You have unique needs, and there’s a lot on the line, so it’s imperative to find the right team. In this article, we’ll go over what you must look for when selecting an IT consultant.
Expertise in Your Space
Anyone can claim to be an expert. They use a lot of technical terms and attempt to razzle-dazzle you. And even though they know nothing about senior living communities, they will try to tell you they understand your issues. They may have even done some web searching before they came to visit you. You need to ferret out the truth.
Ask for references from current and previous clients. Ask for credentials and certifications. You want someone who knows the unique issues faced in the senior living space and has dealt with those problems successfully with consistent, tangible, and successful results.
Puts Problem Solving Before Technology
You can spend a pretty penny on technology that does nothing to help your business. It happens every day. It’s easy to be drawn in by software and hardware that promises the moon and stars. And it might, but just not for senior living communities. You want to look for an IT consultant that solves your specific tech problems without adding more complexity. You want just what you need. No more, no less. And your IT consultant should have their finger on that pulse.
Sees the Big Picture
You don’t want someone just to take care of things the way they are now. The point isn’t to maintain the status quo. Any IT consultant worth their salt sees your senior living communities holistically, and plans any projects that way from the start, to improve your systems today and prepare your communities for tomorrow.
Works With You on Budget
You likely have a budget for IT. When you sit down with an IT consultant, you want someone who will look at your budget, explain what goals you can meet with that budget, and outline in detail future projects to add to your next budget.
Creative, Communicative, and Collaborative
Because the IT consultants you’re looking at have expertise in the senior living community space, they should be able to offer creative solutions to both common and uncommon problems. They should clearly communicate the problems they perceive and collaborate with you and your staff to make sure all bases are covered and all pain points listed. Also, look for someone who is technically sound and also able to interact with others collectively and collaboratively. You wouldn’t want to hire a consultant who has an attitude problem and doesn’t work well with others.
Makes You a Priority
You’re likely not your consultant’s only client, but you should feel like you are. The true mettle of any IT consultant can be judged by how quickly they respond to your phone calls, especially when something becomes glitchy or stops working. Ask about response times. There is no industry standard, so they can vary widely. A guaranteed response time of two hours should be one of your requirements, so ask candidates about their track record. You want a company whose motto is, “We work on our customer’s time, not our own.”
“I have worked closely with RSN for the past 6 years and I am extremely happy with their level of expertise and their attentive and professional customer service.”–Jason Engelhorn, Divisional VP of Operations
How Are Their Vendor Relationships?
It’s likely your infrastructure is going to have to be upgraded, or be a completely new installation if you’re building a new senior living community. This means your IT consultant will have to work with contractors of all kinds, plus cable companies and other providers to get what you need and get it right. An IT consultant with good working relationships with all of your vendors is vital to the success of your project, so ask for references here, too.
How Do They Measure Results?
You want an IT consultant who measures their success based on your success. You want someone who is hands-on, who sees and takes on your problems as their own.
They Have a Heart
This may seem like an odd requirement for an IT consultant, but it’s a vital part of choosing the right firm for the job. Your senior living communities are staffed with selfless people who put themselves aside every single day to care for those who need them, and you want the same attitude in your IT consultant. Understanding and respect for the work you and your staff perform is paramount.
At RSN Technologies, we are your IT Team, and we take that responsibility seriously. Your success is our success. From your CTO to your help desk support, you’ll be backed by an industry renowned engineering staff, and an operational team driven to ensure the highest level of commitment to our customers. Reach out today and let’s get started taking your IT worries away.